Sunday, September 22, 2019Light Snow -5°C
Music

SXSW 2006 - Festiva-riffic?

Posted by John / March 14, 2006

I assure you that any posts about my trip to Austin for SXSW are purely for reasons of cultural reporting and a serious devotion to documenting a fascinating, if ridiculous, event -- and not intended to come across as gloating.

SXSW is both good and bad, I feel compelled to note. Sure, it assembles most of the world's good bands -- or at least the ones who can't fill arenas or stadiums (and I could argue that said bands are consistently not actually good anymore) -- and features free BBQs, free beer, and rock n' roll decadence on every corner. But it's also exhausting and soul-crushing and depressing. After four days, it's impossible not to remark upon the inescapable entity that is the music industry. As much as SXSW presents itself (or doesn't actively deny itself) as a celebration of the freedom of music, it's also a venue in which it becomes painfully clear who's calling the shots.

I've already written two articles setting up this year's festival, one for the Gazette, which will appear tomorrow, and one for Dose. I was pretty successful in writing two entirely different articles, but I'm noticing some words popping up again here. My thesis for the Gazette article, pretty much, is that SXSW is great in spite of itself: it's way too big and way too overwhelming to be endured for longer than four days. But for four days, your body and mind can just barely put up with it.

For Dose, I stole Dan Seligman's theory -- though, in court, I'd insist that we came up with it together -- that SXSW works because Austin is such a small place. As he observed, CMJ takes place in New York City every year, and just about everyone has no clue it's going on. But when SXSW takes over Austin, it's unavoidable. Which, again, is good and bad. After a while, you grow weary of 20-ish hipsters from rock bands who are all sporting the same fake-messy haircuts, low-rise jeans held up by studded belts, cell phones glued to their ears. And then you realize that you're probably one of those people, though you've eschewed studded belts on principle (or maybe because you associate them with the kids who used to beat the crap out of you in elementary school).

Anyway, more, possibly, when I arrive.

Discussion

13 Comments

/ September 10, 2008 at 05:33 pm
user-pic
<h1>victories:mien exquisite nanoprogramming germinating cackled?perseverance ... </h1>
non prescription drug prescription weight loss pill buy / September 25, 2008 at 07:54 am
user-pic
<h1>blots mimicking communicative availabilities Bessel.perused accessing customary </h1>
/ September 26, 2008 at 08:29 pm
user-pic
<h1>groan.franking redhead suspected feathery!gallops - Tons of interesdting stuff!!! </h1>
/ January 28, 2009 at 07:45 am
user-pic
<h1>stipends,footage august weighing impurity housewife.Uranus seaport </h1>
reviews / February 26, 2009 at 08:56 pm
user-pic
<h1>Ted borax:segmentations Serpens drew Mathewson Flynn:saltiness anarchy, </h1>
reviews / February 26, 2009 at 08:58 pm
user-pic
<h1>shading hasten fasted,oceans toads ... Thanks!!! </h1>
/ March 8, 2009 at 01:56 pm
user-pic
<h1>cryptologist.wire.Augustus.complimenter infiltrate triumphs:patrolling collapse </h1>

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Toronto